I Have Glaucoma
One of the most important contributions you can make to protect your vision is to take your medication as prescribed and monitor your glaucoma by attending scheduled review appointments. As glaucoma treatment can become ineffective over time, ongoing testing is crucial to best protect your vision.
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I have just been diagnosed with glaucoma, what now?
If you have more questions about the steps following a glaucoma diagnosis, visit our Facts and FAQs page, or contact us.
Help save your family’s sight
If you have been diagnosed with glaucoma, it is important to alert your family members to their increased risk. Early detection and appropriate treatment can be the difference between them being sighted and going blind. Let your family members know they are at increased risk, and encourage them to have regular optic nerve checks.
“Have the conversation”
Right now in Australia, around 300,000 people have glaucoma, a potentially blinding eye disease. Alarmingly, only 50% of them know it. The following points may be useful in advising direct family members of their increased risk.
- “Because I have glaucoma, as my direct relative you have a 1 in 4 chance of developing glaucoma as well.”
- “I urge you to have an optic nerve check now! Regular eye checks are especially important for people who have relatives with glaucoma.”
- “Visit an eye-care professional for a comprehensive eye examination including an optic nerve check and ask when you should return for your next appointment.”
- “Please advise other family members to do the same”
GLAUCOMA RUNS IN FAMILIES
Encourage your family members to learn more by directing them to the Glaucoma Australia website. For further queries, please encourage them to contact Glaucoma Australia at 02 9906 6640 or email us.
Things to tell your doctor
- What other medications you are taking or have taken;
- If you suffer other health conditions e.g. asthma, breathing problems;
- If you experience any side effects from your glaucoma medication;
- Early on – if not on your first visit – advise your eye practitioner if you are aware of a family member who has or had glaucoma
Things you should know
- What type of glaucoma do you have? There are many glaucomas. Once you know, record the information in a safe place. Ask your doctor to write it down for you.
- Have you lost any vision?
- What do your visual field test results look like?
- Has any further damage occurred since your last field or imaging test?
- How, and when, should you take your glaucoma drops?
- What should you look out for when taking glaucoma medications – what could be the side effects?
- Does it matter if you missed taking a drop?
- Are there instances when you should stop taking your glaucoma medication?
- Will your other medicines interact with your eye drops? We recommend that you always take a list of your other medications and/or herbal products that you are taking to both your GP and eye health professional
- If you believe you will have difficulty instilling your drops due to such things as shaky hands, stiff neck, poor eyesight or any other condition that could affect proper instillation, contact Glaucoma Australia to discuss if an eye drop instillation applicator may help. Please note that not all drops have an applicator available.
Glaucoma Australia has been educating Australians about glaucoma for almost 30 years – our Mission is to Eliminate Glaucoma Blindness. Help us to help your family.